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Old July 19th, 2002, 12:33 AM   #1
dnauts
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HOW TO: Toe adjustment for the 2nd Generation Mazda MX6 and Ford Probe

Audience: Intended for the more than ten thousand members of the Probetalk.com message board, specifically, owners of the 2nd generation Mazda MX6 and Ford Probe who participate in autocross or other high speed racing events.

Objective: To provide simple instructions to the inexperienced mechanic on how to accurately adjust the toe of the MX6 and Probe in a garage or trackside setting.

Explanation of toe
Toe is the difference of the front and rear wheel face from the centerline of the vehicle; toe is usually discussed in terms of total toe, which is the sum of the toe of both sides of the car. Toe in is where the wheels are turned into the centerline of the vehicle; toe out is where the wheels are turned away from the centerline. IMAGE Toe out is the most desirable in an autocross situation, giving the car a much quicker steering response. Too much toe out is not desirable because it causes excessive wear on the front tires. Also, too much toe out will cause your inside wheel to drag along the road surface when cornering which decreases the car’s ability to corner fast. Most road going cars not used in high performance driving are toed in, or have zero toe. Toe in adds to the vehicle’s straight-line stability and greatly decreases the wear on tires. Another advantage of toe out is evident when looking at the radius of each front tire in a turn. The inside tire makes a shorter radius turn than the outside tire. IMAGE When a car is toed out the dragging effect created by one tire turning a different radius than the other is decreased.
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Old July 19th, 2002, 01:02 AM   #2
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Tools needed
Torpedo level
Tape measure
Socket set
Box end wrench set
Flat metal bar
Felt tip permanent marker
Floor jack
Breaker bar or lug wrench
IMAGE

Where to make measurements
It is important to make measurements on a flat level surface. A level garage floor is ideal, but a near level road or driveway will also work. A clean surface is also important as it helps in identifying the pen marks made on the ground. If you always make measurements with the car in the same position and orientation and in the same location you accuracy will be better.
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Old July 19th, 2002, 01:05 AM   #3
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Making the measurements
1. Position the car on the level surface with the wheels pointing straight and the steering wheel centered. You will need to have access to both front wheels of the car.
2. Place the flat metal bar against the lower part of the wheel at least as high as the lowest part of the rim. Notice the position of the bar as you will need to place the bar in the same place against the wheel on the other side of the vehicle.
3. Using the permanent pen, lay it flat against the bar and make a small mark on the ground at each end of the bar. IMAGE
4. Repeat step 2 and 3 for the other side of the car.
5. Use the tape measure to measure the distance between the left and right front mark and the distance between the left and right rearward mark. IMAGE
Subtract the rear distance from the front distance, this is your total toe. If the rear measurement is greater than the front, your car has toe in. If the rear measurement is less than the front, your car has toe out
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Old July 19th, 2002, 01:09 AM   #4
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Making the adjustments
1. Place the jack under one of the front tow hook supports.
2. Loosen, but do not remove, the lug nuts of the wheel on the side of the vehicle that you have the jack placed.
3. Raise the car until one or both of the front wheels rises off of the ground.
4. Remove the lug nuts and wheel from step 2.
5. Due to differences is some aftermarket and O.E.M. tie rod ends, the size of box end wrenches used to hold the tie rod end and loosen or tighten the jam nut may be of a few different sizes. Place one box end wrench on the nut face of the tie rod end and another box end wrench on the jam nut threaded over the tie rod. Loosen the jam nut on the tie rod end and turn clockwise a few turns. Pay attention to not twist the tie rod end against the steering knuckle, you can damage the tie rod end boot. IMAGE
6. Place a 13mm box end wrench on the shaft of the tie rod and turn clockwise for increased toe in, counter clockwise for increased toe out. 2 full turns of the tie rod is a 1/8-inch change. To make a 1/16-inch change turn the tie rod 1/2 turn, 1/32-inch change is a 1/4 turn. For example, if you desire a 1/16-inch toe out increase, you will need to turn both the left and right tie rods counter clockwise 1/2 turn. To keep the steering wheel centered you must make equal adjustments to each side of the car. For most autocrossers, 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch toe out is desirable. IMAGE
7. Turn the jam nut counter clockwise until it is against the tie rod end, using the same box end wrenches from step 5, tighten the jam nut against the tie rod end.
8. Replace wheel and lug nuts.
9. Lower car and remove jack from under car.
10. Repeat steps 1 through 9 for the opposite side of the car.
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Old July 19th, 2002, 01:10 AM   #5
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Double checking the settings
After you have replaced both wheels and lug nuts, and removed the jack from underneath of the car, roll the car forward and back a few feet to settle the front suspension. Measure the toe setting. If the setting is not what you intended you will need to make additional adjustments.

Road testing
After you have the correct toe setting, drive the car around your work area at a low speed and visually check to see that the steering wheel is centered. If the steering wheel is not centered you will need to make additional adjustments. If the steering wheel is offset to the left you will need to increase the toe out on the left front wheel and decrease the toe out on the right front wheel. If the steering wheel is offset to the right you will need to decrease the toe out on the left front wheel and increase the toe out on the right front wheel. You must also make these adjustments equally in order to preserve your toe setting. Once you have made you additional adjustments, again road test the car and recheck the steering wheel center.
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Old July 19th, 2002, 01:23 AM   #6
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something to add: Drag racers will want a slight toe-in or zero toe to decrease friction while running in a straight line.

Thank you very much for appreciating my thread by adding it to the archive. -Dan Nauts
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Old July 19th, 2002, 04:18 AM   #7
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Good stuff, Dan.
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Old July 20th, 2002, 06:19 AM   #8
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Nice job
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